Austin: Empowering Kids To Shine At The Rise School Gala

January 4, 2024
1 min read
Christina Ingold, Jenniann Woody McKnight and Corra Dunigan

The Rise School Austin “Shine For Rise” Honors Top Patrons Over The Past 20 Years

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Keira Hand Photography

THE SCENE: Austin’s Distribution Hall was the recent setting celebrating a milestone anniversary of one of the Capital City’s most beloved educational institutions. Over 300 sociables, philanthropists, educators, alumni, and community leaders turned out for the annual Shine For Rise. Hosted by The Rise School Austin, this year’s event took on an even more special meaning celebrating its 20th year in operations which created an evening of fundraising, touching tributes, and of course, a walk down memory lane.

THE VIBE: The Austin-chic crowd felt the overwhelming love from the second they entered Distribution Hall. After posing for photos on the red carpet, current and former members of The Rise School were able to view a series of beautifully laid-out photo installations showcasing the evolution of this remarkable school.

After viewing the installations, guests partook in a lively cocktail hour where after partygoers cozied up to the bar to grab their favorite spirit for cocktail hour headed outside to take advantage of the picture-perfect Texas evening against the backdrop of beautiful Live Oak trees and live music. This created a family reunion feel that carried throughout the night where old friends reconnected and reminisced about their favorite memories over the past 20 years.

The action then headed into the ballroom at the venue for the main program. As guests dined on their delectable multi-course meals, they were treated to several emotional tributes of prominent supporters and former employees who helped make The Rise School one of Austin’s pre-eminent early childhood education facilities. Among those honored during the evening were Bill Bayless and Jennifer Beese, Mack and Sally Brown, Emily Greer, Donna Stockton House, Al and Amber Koehler, Cindy Lind, Tracey and Bill Marshall, and Rise School alum, Jack Shepherd.

After much laughter and many happy tears, the evening continued with a spirited live auction and Paddles Up helmed by Heath Hale of Cowboy Auctioneer where patrons were able to bid on a series of luxury experiences and travel packages. Guests left the evening on a high note seeing the tremendous impact the school has made over the past 20 years and thoughts of what the school will accomplish in the next 20 years.

THE NON-PROFIT: The event raised funds for The Rise School Austin. A NAEYC-accredited preschool program, the school allows children from gifted, traditional, and developmentally delayed backgrounds to learn together. This creates a loving, inclusive environment for all children in the school to shine and achieve their full potential.

The Gentleman Racer by Michael Satterfield

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